Woman, 2 Kids Safe After Carjacker Drove Them From Wheeling To Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — A mother and her two children were kidnapped and driven more than 20 miles, when a carjacker stole their car from the parking lot of a Walgreens in north suburban Wheeling.

Police said the carjacker took the family on a terrifying 45-minute drive, before leaving them unharmed in Chicago.

wheeling carjacker Woman, 2 Kids Safe After Carjacker Drove Them From Wheeling To Chicago

Surveillance video image of a man who stole a car from the parking lot of a Walgreens in Wheeling, with a woman and her two children inside. He later dropped them off unharmed in Chicago, after first stopping at the O’Hare Oasis Travel Plaza along I-294. (Source: Wheeling Police)

It started around 3:20 p.m. Sunday, when a family stopped at the Walgreens at Milwaukee and Dundee. The father left the car running while he went into the store, leaving his wife and two sons – one of them 3 years old, and the other a baby – outside.

When the dad came back, the car was gone.

Investigators checked surveillance video, which showed a man walk up to the car, jump in, and drive off with the family inside.

Police said the carjacker stole the woman’s cell phone, and drove all the way to the 4700 block of West Belmont in Chicago, where he left the woman and her sons in the car – all unharmed.

During the carjacking, the suspect stopped at the O’Hare Oasis Travel Plaza on Interstate 294, stopped inside to get something, and left the mom and kids in the car. Fearful she wouldn’t be able to get to her children in time before the carjacker returned, the mom froze and stayed in the car.

The suspect was captured on surveillance video while at the O’Hare Oasis. He was wearing a black winter hat, white and black camouflage pants, a dark puffy coat, and white gym shoes.

No one was in custody Monday morning. Wheeling police asked anyone with information about the carjacking to call police at 847-459-2632.

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